Nikon D300S In-depth Review
Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to comparative boxes inside each patch.
Picture Controls (Nikon's name for its image parameter presets), can be modified, saved and transferred between the D5000 and all the more expensive Nikon DSLRs to allow consistency of output between different cameras. Obviously the noise and noise reduction characteristics each camera will have an impact on the final results so the output won't be identical but the results will be consistent enough for the Nikon spokesperson we spoke to describe Picture Controls as: 'the digital film of the future,' which is nice.
|Nikon D300S||Compare to:|
Artificial light White Balance
The D300S's performance is not nearly as accurate as the D90 was in the same test. However, its choice of seven Fluorescent presets means there's likely to be at least one setting in which it will produce excellent results. The problem with having so many options is choosing the correct one for the situation you're shooting in (personally I can't spot the difference between a Daylight Fluorescent and a Day White Fluorescent tube when I walk into an unfamiliar room), not helped by the inability to switch between fluorescent presets from the interactive control panel. It's quite possible to shoot a raw image then pre-process that in-camera to test the effects of each preset, then use the White Balance option in the shooting menu to select that preset, but if you're going to do all that, it's probably easier to shoot a neutral target and set a custom white balance from that.
It's hard to argue with this flash performance - both the exposure and color rendition are very good. The D300S also features Nikon's wireless 'Creative Lighting System,' allowing the remote control of external flashguns. The internal flash can control two groups of up to four flashes (though more groups can be established if you mount an SB-900 or SB-800 flashgun or SU-800 commander unit on top).
Active D-Lighting has been included in Nikon DSLRs since the D300. It mixes a metering correction and tone curve shift (as per Canon's Highlight Tone Priority mode), with sophisticated dynamic range compression techniques, based on technologies from Apical (similar to those in the Sony DRO and Olympus SAT modes). The effect is that highlights are preserved and detail pulled out of the shadows.
The theory is that this results in images that are closer to the way the human brain perceives the scene. The cost is that you get additional noise in shadow regions of the images, and that these changes only appear in JPEG (they are not perfectly reproducible in RAW converters - even Capture NX). The default setting for Active D-Lighting on the D5000 is 'Auto,' which assesses the contrast in the scene and applies what it considers to be an appropriate level of D-Lighting.
On the whole, it's a question of taste but there are plenty of situations in which a small increase in noise is an acceptable price to pay for a final image with a more balanced tonal range, so we'd be inclined to leave it on Auto or even hike it up to High in some situations. Those people shooting RAW and planning to post-process all their images are probably better off switching it off, however.
|Active D-Lighting Off|
Anyone who has read a review of a recent Nikon DSLR (particularly one of the models based around a 12MP APS-C CMOS sensor) won't be surprised by any of our findings about the D300S. As usual, the main thing that turns up when you compare images as we do - viewing at 1:1 - is the Nikon's comparatively soft JPEG output. As we've shown before, a little extra sharpening brings it up to the same levels as its peers.
|Sharpening 3||Sharpening 4|
Beyond that, there's not a lot to find fault with about the D300S - it is generally as dependable a photographic tool as its build quality implies. If you look closely, it's not uncommon to notice 'grain' in what should be clear blue skies and this isn't the camera for you if that worries you (it's rarely objectionable, particularly at normal viewing distances, but it is there).
Because the D300S also corrects for lateral chromatic aberrations when you shoot JPEGs, it may comes as a bit of a shock to then use a RAW converter that doesn't automatically apply such corrections. In general the JPEGs do a good job of making the best of the underlying RAW data, which makes them useful whether you're offering clients an early proof or using them as the end product.
- 17 Photographic tests (DR)
- 18 Photographic tests
- 19 Movie Mode
- 20 Compared to
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 28 Compared to (Resolution)
- 29 Compared to (Resolution)
- 30 Conclusion
- 31 Samples
|Fairy garden by Jill Hancock|
|Avro Vulcan Heavy Bomber by cjf2|
from Seven types of aircraft - heavy bombers
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.
Mastin Labs has released its latest set of presets titled 'Kodak Everyday.' The pack includes film emulation presets for iconic Kodak films, including Ektar, Gold and Tri-X.
Canon has released firmware update 1.0.4 for the EOS 6D Mark II, adding important bug fixes for "rare instances" of issues with the touch panel and operation buttons.
In an email to DPReview, Nikon Inc. has confirmed ''The Nikon 1 series cameras, lenses and accessories are no longer in production'.
Nikon's new Coolpix P1000 boasts an extraordinary zoom range and a suite of powerful stills and video features in a (relatively) compact body. We're taking a detailed look at this powerful compact's key features.
PhotoMirage, a new Windows application from software company Corel, transforms images into "mirages" by adding movement to elements like water or clouds. Unlike a cinemagraph, it does not require video footage – instead animating a single static image.
Tamron's version 2.0 firmware update for its 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD claims to have addressed reported issues with autofocus during video shooting.
Lens maker Moment is leaning into the software sector, launching a newly-revamped smartphone camera app targeted at enthusiast photographers.
A groups of researchers from NVIDIA, MIT, and Aalto University have developed an AI capable of removing noise and grain from images with incredible accuracy.
If the 24-2000mm equiv. zoom range on Nikon's Coolpix P900 just wasn't enough then you'll be excited about today's announcement of the Coolpix P1000. This camera has a once unthinkable 24-3000mm equivalent F2.8-F8 lens, though it's anything but light and will set you back $999.
Hong Kong flash system manufacturer Cactus has released new firmware for its V6 II Transceiver that will allow it to wirelessly communicate TTL information between a Canon or Cactus flash and a Canon camera. The X-TTL update makes it possible to trigger Canon flashes and retain full TTL control with that flash either on or off camera.
Want to create pro quality lighting for your videos, but don't have thousands of dollars to spend on expensive video lights? In this video, our friends over at ShareGrid demonstrate how to professionally light a model with some work lights, a bit of poster board and even a shower curtain.
Phase One has launched its new Latitude processing presets series, the latest addition to the company's Capture One Style Packs product launched last year. Both Latitude style packs contain eight presets, each with original, bright, and dark variations, for a total of 24 styles per pack.
Godox has announced the impending launch of its upcoming AD400Pro, a 400WS monolight with wireless shooting capabilities and a battery life of 390 full-powered flashes.
The instant camera market is heating up, and with four formats and 15+ cameras to choose from, we felt it was high time to examine them all and pick our favorite.